Review of Fresh n' Lean's Middle Eastern Almond Cauliflower with Steak
Fresh n' Lean's Middle Eastern Almond Cauliflower with Steak, like all Fresh n' Lean meals is all about clean ingredients and max convenience.
Rather than a meal kit company (which sends raw ingredients), Fresh n' Lean provides full meals, completely cooked, delivered right to your door. All you have to do is heat them up in the microwave (the stove is an option too) for about 2 minutes. Unwrap. And eat. It does not get more simple.
Fresh n' Lean is also about ensuring that all the ingredients are "clean". The vegetables are organic. The proteins are grass feed, line caught or wild, and free of anti-biotics and hormones. They are gluten free. They are dairy free. They are soy free. So, if your diet requires any of these things...you're good go. These would be a great option for someone really looking to control their diet.
Unfortunately, this meal is not one for those looking for a great tasting meal. I was generally disappointed in both the flavor and the textures in this dish. The steak itself was a tough, dry and had no sear on the outside - kind of like it was steamed in the microwave. The vegetables tasted ok, but they were overcooked, and muddled together. There were no separate textures, so everything just kind of blended together. I'm sure it was a very healthy steak recipe. I just didn't care much for it.
As promised, it was super simple to make. And within five minutes I was eating. So if you're pressed for time, it's a great choice.
I'm unlikely to ever order this again...but I do understand there is a certain set of people, who care more about health/ingredients/ease than taste, that this meal is going to work great for.
The Middle Eastern almond cauliflower with steak came fully cooked and prepared. So I didn't have any ingredients to unpack and cook. Instead, i was able to simply poke a hole in the plastic cover, and heat it in the microwave for two minutes.
The "purity" of the ingredients is a core element that a lot of people are attracted to. Veggies are all organic. Proteins are free range/line caught or wild. And meals also cater to common dietary restrictions like gluten, soy and dairy free. There are also 100% plant based options. If you have a need or desire to manage your ingredients that way, I see Fresh 'n Lean being a huge benefit.
I don't have the official list of ingredients, but from looking at the finished meal, it was clear there was:
- Almond slivers
- Sauce/spices - presumably this is the "middle eastern" component, not sure what was in it.
Making the dish
With Fresh n' Lean there isn't really any "making the dish". You are not working with raw ingredients, but rather a completed meal. One of the big advantages of the service - clearly targeting people who don't want, or don't have time to cook.
The meal arrive packaged in individual portion sizes, in microwaveable containers. Based on the dates on the packages I recieved, you've got about 1 - 2 weeks to eat everything.
To heat them up, you simple cut a small hole in the plastic film covering the food, and microwave on high for about 2 minutes, until heated through. You can also heat in the oven, or the stove top, but I used the microwave assuming most people would do the same.
Two minutes later, you simply remove the plastic, plate it up and you're eating.
I fully get the benefit(s) that Fresh n' Lean provides for healthy eaters. You can feel good about the quality of the raw ingredients. And as everything is pre-packaged, Fresh n' Lean meals make it vary easy to control the amount of protein, carbs, sodium, etc...that is going into your body.
And it's really easy.
But I just didn't care for the flavor.
The steak was a tough & dry - cooked to well done. There was no texture/crust on the outside, and after a couple test bites, i was done with it.
The vegetables were not bad, but they were not good either. I don't exactly know what was middle eastern about them...there was some spice there, but not a ton. They needed more salt (which you could add on your own), and pepper.
Worst of all, I just found them overcooked. In addition to the cauliflower, there were carrots and broccoli. All of them were cooked more than I like - not yet mushy, but close to it. They all had the same consistency, and just blended together. There were slivered almonds, but they had softened, so they didn't provide any different texture.
If you're goal is to bang down a healthy meal, and make sure that you've got the right ingredients going into your body, i see the value. But with this dish, doing so comes at a cost of flavor and texture.
Fresh n' Lean's Middle Eastern Almond Cauliflower with Steak
Admittedly, I come at Fresh n' Leans Middle Eastern Almond Cauliflower with Steak from a foodie's perspective. And I didn't much care for it.
The steak was not good. The vegetables were ok, but were over cooked and under seasoned.
I wouldn't order it again.
That said, if you're not a foodie. If you don't want to cook. And if organic, whole ingredients are super important, I can see this meal working for you.
Give it a try if that sounds good, and let me know how it goes.